tiltbillings wrote:Actually, you need to quote my words directly. We have seen enough of your misrepresenting what I say for you not to be trusted in what you say about what I say.
tiltbillings wrote:The soil is very much part of the teaching that goes on during the retreat within the context of meditation.
There you have it. And that is why I say you have not even looked at the texts I provide. Why? Because the text shows that the soil comes before any meditation
. They are topics to be understood not meditated upon, and you should ask your teacher about knotty points in them. Again... those subjects are the aggregates, the sense bases, the elements, the truths and faculties, and Dependent Origination. Only when all of these are clear can you apply them in the trunk as described in the text.
Thanks for bringing up the Teaching about how to cultivate Panna. I do appreciate it a lot.
However, I wonder why this "before meditation" should be taken so rigidly. Let's say Mahasi's students go to a retreat, start practicing the technique, then get the information about the aggregates, the sense base...., then continue to practice. So now what is before and what is after ?
Even someone who starts right away, in this life, with listening to good explanations of ultimate truth before doing any meditation, might he has not, in a previous life, done some kinds of practice without the necessary information. It doesn't prevent him from gaining insight once the right information is presented to him today, does it ?
If we consider the various techniques as skillful means, why can't we expect them to yield the same outcome at some point ?
In the 7 factors of enlightenment, beside the factor of investigation, you also have other factors( joy, calmness, concentration....) that such techniques like Mahasi's or Goenka's can help to cultivate. Well, techniques that are not to be attached to...
The experience of Nibanna happens when all of them are present and culminate in perfect balance, doesn't it ? Before that, some may be stronger at times, others are weaker and the adjustment goes on...I agree that right understanding is a leading factor, but for some people, calming the mind gives rise to better understanding.
IMO, not everyone is ready to study the Abhidhamma at their first encounter with Buddhism. Personally, I would have turned it away immediately, have I not had some experiences from the "just do it" approach first. People faculties are different, hence different techniques are needed. The critics of those techniques would be valid if it can be proved that they don't contain right view in the way they are taught as a whole
, but I dont think that is the case.
Well, just some thoughts...
Btw, out of curiosity, I'd like to ask you something: you said somewhere that you are a Vajrayana practitioner. Could you please tell the reasons for the switch from a Theravadin to that ?